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Harper Simon Offering Free Download of New Album Song

12/07/2012
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Harper Simon is offering fans a free download of a song from his new album, 'Division Street.'

The album, produced by Tom Rothrock (Elliott Smith, Beck) is set for release on March 26th, 2013 but fans are being offered an early taste of the album in the form of "Bonnie Brae," which can be streamed and downloaded here. And here are some more details about the album:

"I see the character in the song 'Division Street' as being at a moment where life can go a couple different ways," says Simon of the title track from the new record. "I think these songs tend to be like a snapshot of a character at a pivotal moment. They could go this way or that way on the metaphorical Division Street: up or down, negative or positive, to the light or to self-destruction.

"Or they're looking back at a moment they didn't recognize as pivotal," he says, "because we rarely do."

'Division Street' is a departure for Simon: it features a sound that's much more driven by electric guitars than his alt country-flavored debut. "The mission was to make the kind of Rock 'n' Roll record I would want to listen to myself," he says. "Which sounds simple but is, in fact, incredibly difficult."

Simon co-produced Division Street with Tom Rothrock, who produced three albums for Elliott Smith (Either/Or, XO and Figure 8) and Beck's first album Mellow Gold, among others. As the team worked, the album's sound grew rougher around the edges. "I felt challenged and inspired by the idea of making a modern psychedelic folk-rock album, a Tom Rothrock production like XO, but then the Velvet Underground and the Stones kept entering in," says Simon. "Elliott Smith was very influenced by the Beatles but my guitar playing is more influenced by Keith Richards. And I kept wanting to emphasize more lo-fi elements."

Division Street was recorded with a small coterie of guest musicians—including Pete Thomas from Elvis Costello's Attractions on drums, Nikolai Fraiture from the Strokes on bass, vocals by Inara George, Feist's musical director Brian LeBarton playing synths, as well as Nate Walcott from Bright Eyes and Wilco's Mikael Jorgensen. "I'm very lucky," says Simon. "Everybody that we asked to come and guest on the record showed up."

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